Wednesday, June 18, 2008
WHAT FLOATS, IS HOPE
Who needs castanets? Castaways. Clicking their way through the endless days. Clacking out a real infinity. They hit that wood against wood until it's worn away and what they're left with is two thin shavings of timber and eventually they too break, and then it's matchsticks for an ailling fire, toothpicks for salt-crammed teeth. The wood's gone, but there's a loop of string from the broken castanets, string that looped around the castaway's thin, tanned arm, holding the instrument safe from gravity. The string is sweat-stained and sun-softened, but still it's sturdy enough to catch a sand rabbit, a topaz reef fish. Still with enough integrity left to hold strong around a lesser neck. And when the meal is eaten, when the rope rinsed off in clean, boiled water, the castaway can pull it taught and drag it across a section of fresh, dusk-cooled sand. And with this leveling string, helped by two steady, dinner-fueled hands, the sand becomes a smooth unblemished canvas. And with a straight middle finger, the castaway can carefully sketch a scene from a mind's eye. A baby's laughing face, perhaps. The front gate to a weekend home, swinging lazy open. Grass, flowers, life.